Friday, December 2, 2016

What a ride!

Three years ago a friend, Steve Cowen, approached our minister of music, Tom Clark, about a drama he'd written. It was for Christmas.

Tom pointed Steve to my husband, Scott, for the music needed to accompany the drama and then life took over.

Typical interruptions:

  • Illness.
  • Death.
  • Departures.
  • Arrivals.
  • Retirement.


It's amazing how God brings about events in our lives to prepare us for tasks He has for us to complete.

So earlier this year (2016) Scott and Steve decided now was the time to present the drama.

Yeah - Scott and I wrote the music but that's the side story. The real story is God illustrating the beautiful mate and helpmate created when He originally designed man and woman.

You see, Scott is a melody kind of person. When we listen to music, he will always sing or hum the melody.

I, however, am a harmony person. When I listen to music, I always migrate to a harmony to sing or hum.

So in 1977 when God put Scott and me together, he was preparing us to write this music.

I am amazed at what flowed out of us. It is too beautiful to be ours. It is too meaningful to be ours. It is thrilling to see Him show up in our lives like this.

In a very short time all was ready for rehearsing and we will debut Christmas Redemption on Dec. 10 and 11, at 5:00 pm, at our little church in Broken Arrow, OK (Aspen Park Baptist Church, 4404 S. Aspen Ave., Broken Arrow, OK).

More of the story will be posted in my next blog.

For now I will close by quoting JSBach - "To God be the glory".



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It Is Finished

I don't think most of us realize what those three words spoken by Jesus Christ really mean.

Do you remember in the garden when Eve and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit? At that time a schism was placed between our Creator and us. Enmity was set up between mankind and Satan.

Those three words mark the destruction of that schism and the enmity is destroyed.

But we don't live our lives that way, do we?

So many of us know so much about our own faults that we don't understand the tremendous gift available to us. We have ourselves on our own minds so much we don't hear what Jesus did for us. We believe we must make ourselves worthy.

Paul reminds us “in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Through death, Jesus gave us a covering of a perfect man. If you will accept that cover, God will look at you and see Jesus, the one perfect man who lived as God originally created us to live.

No. You are not worthy. Jesus, however, is.

It is finished.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Needy?

For a moment, think about how desperately someone you know seems to need you.

How does that feel? Flattering? Scary? Like you are being set up to fail? Are you even up to the task of being all they NEED you to be?

Do you like that feeling?

What emotions does it evoke when someone says to you "I need you so much."?

Does that stress you out?

This blows my mind to think about but bear with me as I try to write the words.

God. Almighty. Complete. The unique being Who created us in His image.

God. Infinite. Without need.

I love seeing young people
helping our elderly.
Planting seeds for their future!
Yet, somehow He needs you. He needs me. It's a need He started because He has chosen to love on His creation through you. Through me.

Now does that stress you out? It shouldn't.

Think for a second. Why would God who created you and knows everything about you - how you were made. WHY you were made. Purposes He created you particularly to fulfill - to complete. Why would God need you in an area where you could fail?

Instead, be amazed. Be amazed that God designed you to meet those needs. He has entrusted His creation into your hands. He has trusted you - me - to love others to care for others to help others because He designed us that way.

When I stop and think about how much God believes in me I am amazed.

The invisible God Who desires to remain that way to build our faith has chosen to be made visible via human hands and feet. Through those who believe in Him and need Him, He blesses the world.

Amazing!

Afterthought:

So, who is it you need?

Why not give them a break? Gift them with no longer "needing" them. Transfer your need to God Who promises to provide all you need.

Philippians 4:9 - But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Moon and Me


The blood moon.
Photo by Andrew Brister.
When I look at the moon I see me.

Strange? 

Think about it: the moon reflects the brightness (glory) of the sun.

I reflect the glory of Christ, the Son of God.

I considered all this the other night when we were able to watch the moon become a “blood moon”. It ever so slowly lost its brightness. It was covered in a redness that was very much like blood. Then, the corona came back and soon its full illumination was restored.

I found it mesmerizing.

As I was sharing with a friend the next day I realized how, once again, God provided His own witness to the world about the sacrifice His Son made for us.

Once again He used His creation to show us the need we have for Him in our lives. How sin creeps into our lives and darkens our souls. How we lose our shine. Our newness.

But then, ever so gently, He brings light – Truth – into our lives. As His Son showed us the Truth and we accept the Truth that God loves us. God wants to be with us always. That He created us and is proud of us. The brightness. The lightness. The illumination of Truth brings glory that is breathtaking.

It is no wonder to me how David could write such Psalms that sing of God's glory. His might. David must have spent many days and nights contemplating the witness God give Him in the world as David took care of his flock of sheep.

How else could he have written this in Psalm 8?

v. 1 O Lord, our Lord, How excellent isYour name in all the earth.
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

v. 3-5
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and he stars, which You have ordained,

What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

I wonder if there was a blood moon the night David was inspired to write that psalm?



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Need some assurance?

My niece posted this great image to Facebook.

My bigs are still sleeping
but this little tornado of trouble
has already been up
for an hour hammering,
measuring, drawing, and
figuring out life.
As I read the comments one person said "Isn't it fun watching them work / play by themselves."

It reminded me of Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Reflection


I remember times I was able to quietly watch my children at play or work or even at rest. The joy it gave me to be in their presence without their unawareness is a little hard to describe.

Then I consider "The Lord your God in your midst ..." not IS in your midst. But already there, in your midst and we are going through our day "figuring out life".

To think. As I fumble, rumble and grumble through my life, my Lord, my God, my Creator. In my presence. Is rejoicing over me with gladness. He is quieting me with His love. He is Singing over me!

Maybe that's what I did with my own little ones. (Is that the word that escaped me earlier?) My heart would Sing as I watched them play and struggle and succeed.

Reminder


Whether you believe it or not, there is a Creator, a Savior. God. Who is in our midst watching over each of us with a love more pure than a parent's.

He won't interfere because He gave us the freedom to live our lives by our choices. He patiently watches us struggle because He knows the good that comes out of those struggles. 

Consider, too, we were created in His image. So built into us is the ability to make excellent choices.  Wise choices. Best choices. But there are so many influences. How to figure life out?

He did give us a Book. He also gave us friends who know Him better than we do. And, even though He is holy, great and mighty, He provided for us the means to come to Him directly.

So, if we ask Him, He will advise, counsel and guide every undertaking. If we ignore Him, He continues to keep an eye on us. Working to get our attention. Giving us options. Lovingly bringing pressure or people or circumstances into our lives to guide us into His outstretched arms that ache to hug and hold us.

So as you hammer, measure, draw and figure out life. Remember in your own "tornado of trouble" our Father, Who created us in His image, watches over us as we figure it out.

Comforting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Just like Abram?

Am I being melodramatic?

You be the judge.

After 22 years I told my company I was no longer going to work for them.

Slim Pickens in
"Dr. Strangelove or
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and
Love the Bomb"
I felt like Slim Pickens in "Dr. Strangelove" riding the nuclear bomb.

The fallout is just now starting to take hold and I've shaken some of my co-workers lives to the very core, I fear.

Well, it had to happen.

Scott sent me a link to a story that featured Muhammad Ali's wife and the dedication and devotion she has for him. I guess Scott sees me as lovingly devoted to him as she is.  (Those are tall shoes to fill, Scott, but by God's grace ...) It was quite a story!

That story caused me to reflect on how poorly I'm taking care of myself.

How could I possibly face down Parkinson's Disease if I don't take time to care for myself? How can I support us with proper nutrition if I haven't the time to even grocery shop - much less cook a meal.

Something needed to give and I believe God used that article to give me the courage and boldness to leave AAPG.

Since that decision He has affirmed that decision and I feel a lot like Abram when God said "Go" and Abram said, "where to?"

God's response was "Go." So Abram did. (Genesis 12)

Repeat

I've done this once before. 

I'd played organ for FBC-BA for close to 10 years when God did the sent me away. Scott and I left there and for a little over a year we had no church home.

Then He parked us at Aspen Park.

No regrets. No looking back.

So, it will be interesting to see where He is leading me. However, I do not believe I am running away from difficulty, even though my job was quite challenging. To some it could appear I am running away.

No.

I'm running toward a healthier future. One full of amazing experiences yet to come.

Thank you, Scotty, for the article and inspiration. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

Remember the movie Galaxy Quest? A wonderful parody of Star Trek starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Justin Long ... to name a few.

I often use this motto when I'm in the throes of something worthwhile and fighting to see it through to the end.

It has been my experience that Anything I've done that I felt was God's will in my life has always faced tremendous adversity and giving up is one thing I used to do.

However, one year, Scott and I vacationed in Grand Lake, Colorado. It was June ... Early June. There was a constant chill in the air and we wanted to do a lot of hiking. 

Well, hiking at 60 or 70 pounds overweight is tough. Add the altitude and perseverance is critical. But on this particular trip God gave me  a lesson in perseverance that I will always remember.

We decided to climb a mountain the first day there. We must have hiked for a solid two hours and then decided to turn around. We got tired. It was so pretty all along the way. So much to see but we decided to not complete that path and came on back.

Next day, we rested.

But then came Shadow Mountain.

It was a very long hike. We figured it would take about 4 to 6 hours. 

At least this is how I remember. The details may be slightly off because this was one of the toughest physical experiences I've ever had. This and the tea house by Lake Louise.

So we walked along this beautiful lake and then came to the deciding point: up or around?

We were quite hopeful about making it to the top.
It was early. We were fresh. We decided to go for the lookout.

We're on vacation!

Looking back, if we had thought about all the facts, we wouldn't have ever started.

This hike took us up about 5,000 feet. I believe we were at about 8,500 above sea level and we'd finish somewhere around 12,000 (or was that 14,000? I'd have to look that up!)

Either way, that was quite a difference.

Scott climbed up among some of the amazing boulders just for fun.
In order to make it there were lots and lots of switch backs. This is where the trail will zig zag to get you up a steep incline.
Now we had snacks and water. We were prepared. But I didn't have a walking stick. I got that further down the path. This was exhausting,

The terrain was rough and our legs were really beginning to protest about this decision. 

We were so delighted to make it to the lookout.
When we reached the lookout the view was breathtaking. It felt like we were on top of the world. It wasn't a good day for photos but we took them any way.

It was overcast but you still felt like you on top of the world.
As we looked to where we had hiked the day before we saw we missed out on some beautiful upper lakes. That's when it hit me that I never want to stop short again. I never want to not reach that goal. There is just too much I'll miss if I do.

If you look very close just about 3/4 up in the center, you can see the lookout.
We noticed this on the way back. Had we seen it while going up,
I'm not sure we would have completed the trek.
Had we known the distance we would have failed. We would have stopped. You can see, as we returned down the trail we captured two pictures of where we had been. We were able to see the outlook many times along the trail. It didn't take long for it to look very, very, very far away. I'm so grateful God kept our eyes on the trail and shielded us from how huge our commitment had been that day, 

Yes, my finger (the next day) is pointing to exactly where we were the day before.
It was wonderful. I'd do it again!
Under my finger here is where we had been that day. This picture was taken the next day. Soar and fulfilled I am proudly indicating the trip we'd made the day before.

There are many mountain tops in our lives. They are hard, rocky and full of many twists and turns. However, they are so worth the climb,

I heard a paraphrase of Philippians 4:13 that inspired this post today:
I can't. He never said I could. 
He can. He always said He would.